It comes as no surprise to my blog readers that I am a huge fan of both food and drink, you only have to look at my rotund stature for some evidence! Luckily, although a small town with just 100,000 inhabitants, Gravesend has got a plethora of pubs and restaurants to choose from, where you can relax with a glass of Pinot Grigiot and good food!
The Three Daws is a perfect pub for any occasion, winter or summer! Older than Shakespeare’s house and first mentioned in the 14th century, it has a charming sloping floor, cosy interior and in the summer many a drink and lunch has been enjoyed in the outside space at the back of the pub overlooking the Thames.
Another favourite pub of mine is the Rum Puncheon, a pub that looks from the outside like it’s closed down, but hides a cosy inside where you can enjoy a three hour lunch without anyone lifting an eyebrow. It also hides a patio at the back with views of the Thames, which comes in handy summertime.
If you fancy a “classier” drink, The Clarendon Hotel with its stylish bar is a perfect place for a nice catch up and the bar is actually a firm favourite haunt for me and my fellow Finnish expat friend. In the summer there is a huge lawn across the road where you can sit and once again, overlook the Thames!
So where to eat in Gravesend? There is a big selection of fabulous restaurants and here are just a few of my favourite ones!
If you fancy Italian food, you will not be disappointed at Caesars. The interiors are maybe not the most fancy, but the food and service are first class. With friendly welcoming Italian owners and a huge menu to choose from, it is one of Gravesend’s most popular restaurants and not without reason.
Another favourite Italian restaurant of mine is Il Padrino which actually featured on BBC’s Restaurant Man programme with its’ stubborn Italian owner who refused to take any advice offered to him. The menu is smaller than Caesars but the food is delicious and authentic Italian, with a big plus point going to the cosy settings.
My favourite Indian restaurant is currently Tufail, hidden away on a road opposite a car park as you walk away from the town centre. Not where you expect to find a brilliant restaurant, but enter through the doors and you are met by very modern sleek interiors and fabulous food and service! A huge menu to choose from, this is the place I like taking my Finnish friends to, to sample our “local” delicacies here in Gravesend!
If you fancy Chinese, another restaurant with no street appeal whatsoever is China Garden! But do not be fooled, if you haven’t booked ahead and it’s a weekend, you will probably not get a table! Crisp white tablecloths, chopsticks and fabulous food hide behind a shop front that looks very ordinary. A very popular restaurant and every time we have visited, we seem to bump into someone we know, so maybe not the place to go incognito to or take you mistress to!
I feel I also must mention Wing Hing, a small Chinese restaurant in Echo Square who do superb food and we order our take aways from!
Should you fancy a modern restaurant situated at the end of the world’s oldest cast iron pier, the place to go is Riva. Book a table at the fancy restaurant and watch huge ships pass by on the Thames through the massive windows. Food wise, the menu is smallish and not cheap, but well worth it for the settings.
So there you go, a small selection of some of my favourite haunts in Gravesend and if you visit, you will find out that there are several more brilliant restaurants and pubs!
And who knows, you might even bump into Mrs Finntastic in one of the pubs! It will be your decision whether to say hello or to run for your life, I will leave that up to you!
Love and peace to everyone and see you in Gravesend!